Sustainable Apartments – A New Model for the Future | Jeremy McLeod | TEDxStKilda

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Jeremy McLeod shatters the Australian Dream with a new model on urban housing that is environmentally, socially and financially sustainable. He challenges …


25 thoughts on “Sustainable Apartments – A New Model for the Future | Jeremy McLeod | TEDxStKilda

  1. I think this idea is a bit misguided; I think the overall energy expenditure in converting to non-traditional building designs and building materials, the cost rises. Certainly you can cut out jobs related to construction, you can place barriers for people to tend to overuse utilities, you can drop the offerings of an apartment complex and make up for it with enthusiastic tenants, but this isn't an economically viable model – hence the majority of investors being architects, instead of investors from banks and managed funds.

    When I heard the Ceramic tile had been removed, I immediately questioned the model. Because flooring options, compared to ceramics, are more expensive and/or extremely taxing on the environment. I honestly thought it was going to be concrete floors (a very energy intensive solution) because I've seen mod apartments like that. Instead, and it's hard to tell, but either 3/4" hardwood flooring or simulated wood laminate flooring was presented. This makes me question the logic…

    If they put down 3/4" flooring, that wasn't red oak – it was a different species. And when you migrate to another species, the price per square foot installed can double or triple ceramic flooring, and the burden of milling lumber just sound costly even of it is sustainable forestry. Laminate floors, also, are a costly alternative. The most common turn I've seen in apartments is an interlocking floating polymer flooring that has a simulated wood too. This means their floor is heavily reliant on the availability of oil; running large machinery; etc.

    But ceramic isn't an Italy only product; they do produce a lot and are able to distribute their product on the large scale fairly rapidly – and ceramic is not expensive; porcelein is even less than hardwood flooring and will have a substantially longer life than wood flooring if installed correctly. I've seen ceramic installed from the 60s that looked good 50+ years; I've never seen a wood floor or laminate, that has maintained for more than a decade. So if it's refinish or reinstall every decade vs up to 50 yrs., the burden you produce winds up being quite large.

    And seeing how so many apartment complexes operate, it's clear this dude is going to learn some hard lessons in order to maintain a bottom line. I gave one example, but nearly every idea developed has a real-world counter argument…

  2. I found it interesting how he calls out other developers for making money on their designs but then invests profits from his business into a project that he was trying to make a profit on…Other than that, the design isn't really that innovative.

    Density is the most important factor for economics, environmental sustainability and culture…. Mid rise? That is better than detached housing, but it's not a leap of any sort.

  3. I love what Nightingale Housing is doing – it is brilliant, intelligent, beautiful and wise. I'm just at the point in this video with the picture of all the residents of The Commons. Lovely looking bunch of humans, but only a couple of children are shown. Maybe some of those couples will have two, or (it does happen) even three children. At first little kids will share a bedroom, but as they get older they'll want their own space, especially if they are completely different to their sibling (that does happen!).
    Conclusion: if these great apartment building communities are going to work long term, and allow communities to grow and evolve together, without the disruption and fracturing caused by constant changing of abode, then we need more three bedroom, and even the odd 4 bedroom apartment in the mix.

  4. Chicken run on the roof? Who owns the chickens or looks after them? WhAt if it’s too hot and they need to come inside?
    I have one toilet in my house but I live on my own but my family visit regularly. I can tell you it is seriously not ideal.
    Plus the community he showed in this apartment isn’t diverse, so no wonder they all got along perfectly.
    I think the idea is good but the result doesn’t convince me that this is the right way forward. And isn’t practical for most people.

  5. Wait if the houses are 30Km from work, and you could easily do 120Kph on a german quality motorway, then how does a 15minute journey turn into a 1 hour 30minute trip? I understand if there is a few kilometers of that trip along congested low-speed city roads but even then… If the trip takes that long the roading infrastructure is inadequate.

  6. Pitty that our civilization become global country village. Actually culture ( art, music, literature) was developed in cities and not in a country side. Middle height city houses are the solution.

  7. These ideas need to be implemented globally. I live on the Gold Coast and I certainly see merit in this building model. Keep up the amazing work and continue inspiring future property developers, architects and planners.

  8. They cost 400-700k per apartment. So you save maybe 10%, but loose a place for your car, it's near loud places (train station), 2nd bathroom, tilings, ceiling, active cooling etc. Some people may be after the social thing but damn thats not really attractive

  9. The only thing is… well I like having things, and I want to be able to paint the walls or change the layout/ add a new room every now and again. I want to have a lasting impact on my environment. My environment holds some of my memories. It seems no-one is accounting for this.

  10. There are a lot of elements that I love about the design like the rooftop garden, the cafe, the yoga studio, the design of the apartment (unless you have guests) . The beehive and the chicken run is interesting though, how did you come up with that idea? What prompted the option to remove AC when Australia is known for its heat? Why place the laundry on the rooftop(What are the typical temperatures on the roof?) I could see that this would attract a group of people who don't typically need or want to use vehicles and prefer to use public transport

  11. Honestly, the LAST thing I want to do after a busy day at work is engage with ANYONE. I just want time to unwind. Alone. So they think they should tell me what I want to do and try to force me to be around people constantly with no privacy? They're telling people what they want and how to live? Why, are we not able to decide how to live and where to live etc? Wow. Look what they're doing! And everyone will go along with it. I guess people WANT to be controlled. Unreal….

  12. This all sounds very happy and kumbaya – caring and sharing with your neighbors, all smiles and joy. But this couldn't be further from the truth. Sorry to burst your bubble but this won't actually happen in reality. People don't give a shit about each other in the real world. Nobody cares about your stupid "Community"!!

  13. 7.7 m in melbourne will pretty much be fucked even with "sustainable" (high concrete == high GHG emissions) use development model. I lived in the CBD from mid 80s through to late 90s. CBD liveability has been destroyed, and City of Melbourne needs to take a good hard look at itself for pouring gasoline on the gentrification of CBD into a residential destination for overseas and local capital looking for fast returns.

    commons looks great though 🙂

  14. Jeremy, thank you. I live in an urban infill estate on the old Olympic Tyre factory site, one of the things that has struck me so strongly is what it is like to live in a community of people motivated by mostly the same values. If you were to take the investor owners out I believe it would improve a further five fold in community but got to start somewhere. I love Nightingale and I love what motivated its creation – power to you; over-used these days but none-the-less an awesome vision and motivation. Two thumbs up from me.

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    misinterpretation CC Solutions Purifies Air/Soil & Water in 100's of countries.*Moringa
    Bye Heath food stores. *Moringa Drug /Pill substirute Drought resistant trees 25-40 ft
    Some of them never get water & they grow even in Asian countries where no other trees
    grow.These can supply all our basic needs while they heal & detoxify us & Planet -can
    support the world basic medical/food needs /Morpmga & Plankton can be used as biofuel .

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